WHY I AM GLAD COVID-19 HAPPENED FOR ME (AND OUR COMPANY)

I AM GLAD THE CORONA IS HAPPENING TO ME, AND OUR COMPANY.

Certainly, I don’t wish it on anyone, but for me… it isn’t all bad.

Even if I die from it, I am glad it happened.  And this is not an “optimistic” or the “glass is almost full” view.  This is my reality.

I am reminded of this Bible verse (although this realization is only Spiritually based.

 Corinthians 15:54-55 English Standard Version (ESV)

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

What I simply mean by this is… everything has changed, HOPEFULLY, forever.

 

For me personally, on a million levels, my life was ideal.

Here’s the thing, time was never my friend.  I love my life.  I love all aspects.  The juggling of it was always the problem.  I love being everywhere.  Knowing everyone.   Playing superman both at home and away.

I missed stuff.  I love to golf, fish, hunt, travel.  I love Drexel.  I just love being at work.  But work, at least I told myself, doesn’t define me… but I easily work 50 hours a week.  Maybe 70.  Who knows the real number.  AND I RELISHED IT.  HUMBLE BRAGGED.  I didn’t go on a vacation with my love Pam this year.  I planned on not doing many family vacations this year.  I missed family time a lot.

“You know guys, dad has to work.  He has a big job,” we told the kids more often than I can count.

That’s the way it has always been in our industry.   TIME, BEING BUSY, WAS REWARDED.   Want to get a raise, move up in the company, just act and look and feel swamped.  Help will arrive, support will be given.  What if you were just productive?  8 times faster than the person next to you?  Well then do 8 times more we said.   WORK SO HARD.  AND THEN WORK SOME MORE.

David Goggins, man I love you, but maybe quit running for a bit and watch a sunset, bruh.

Just stay BUSY, STRESSED, AND BEG FOR OVERTIME, ALWAYS BE AVAILABLE FOR MY TEAM, MY CUSTOMERS, MY DREXEL!

Want to sell more?  WORK LONGER AND HARDER.  Drive around.  A LOT.  REPORT TO WORK DAILY, BRIGHT AND EARLY, BUT LIVE ON JOB SITES.  DO BOTH!  MAKE BIG COMMISSIONS AND DIE TRYING!

We talked about technology to enhance Drexel but not to save time.  Time?  Who cares, there is always more.

WE NEVER EVER VALUED A PERSON’S TIME AT DREXEL.  COVID-19 CHANGED THAT.

I was home yesterday for work.  Honestly, it was hard.  I WORK.  MY TEAM NEEDS ME NOW MORE THAN EVER.  JOEL, WORK!  My brain told me.

Yet there I was “trying” to be with my family.  Gosh, that should be normal!  It isn’t “yet” but it will be!

 

*****

WE WERE DOING IT WRONG.  WE WILL NOT ANYMORE.

*****

This week at Drexel for the first time ever…  we took out all the BULLSHIT.  Just focused on design, bids, orders, production, delivery and helped each other on the essential, getting those loads out, on time, in full.

We did that with us working 20% less.  Each of us.  Wow, that must have sucked.  It must have really hurt us!

NO SIR!  NOT AT ALL!

Drexel ran at 96% OTIF and we also had ALL-TIME RECORD March Sales.  We each worked 30 or 32 hours as a team this week.  We played games, cleaned shelves, napped, read books.

If we did it this week.  We can do it EVERY WEEK.  It’s now been proven.

We sold 1 million dollars in Campbellsport alone this week.  3 million dollars as a company, this week!

I bet most of you are less stressed EVEN WITH THE ANXIETY OF THE PANDEMIC upon you.  Wow, is that screwed up or what?!?

It’s like all of us were in a giant test tube, a discovery world, and were able to see the results.  Pretty damn amazing.

****

Here is a day in the life of a QB (account manager) just two weeks ago.

5:30am rise.  Hustle off to work.

6:00am drive 30 minutes.

6:30am (or 7), get to work.  “Punch in.”   Check e-mails.  Walk around.  See the team.  B.S. a bit (hey, I’m a salesperson) answer a few calls.  Fairly chaotic and certainly not totally productive.

9 or 10am.   Hit the road. (Most likely an hour later than they hoped.)  Most likely in the direction right back from where they live and came from.

Do job site visits.  Be HIGHLY IMPACTFUL AND PRODUCTIVE.  This is GOLD.

2:30pm Get back to the troops, drive back to the location.

3:00pm  Arrive.  Bombarded with people, e-mails, questions, etc.  Not really productive.

5:00pm Start that drive back home.

5:30  Mentally a mess.

7pm.  Grind out more emails and phone calls if necessary.  Get ahead of a busy day tomorrow.

I would guesstimate the productivity here is about 50% or much less.

How about this week?  

Work from home.  Go to job sites.  Come back home.  Send perfect information to the inside team.   Incredibly high productivity.  Essentials only done well.  And from what I have seen the team did not miss their chaos hovering over us.  (Yes we do love you though!)  Stay connected!

How about the future?

Stay connected.  Use Google hangouts.  Video feeds.

Steve Herriges did a pep rally video to his whole team.  No longer do we have to take 100 plus team members for 20 minutes at 630am on a Friday to hope to make it and take notes.  Actually, that even sounds odd.

Steve Herriges did an awesome pep rally video.  Now, anyone can watch it, anywhere.  At their pace.

We can take job site videos or pictures if needed.

We are going to connect with our teams using a program called Monday.com.

We are in negotiations with them RIGHT NOW, and will re-assemble using this platform (or one similar).   We are assembly a world class team to work on it.  Watch a video of it HERE.    Go ahead watch it.

Here is a bunch of leaders using– Google Hangouts –this morning from Drexel Systems.  Two weeks ago we would of all traveled to be together to do this.  Saving drive time I estimate a 10-12 hour savings!  And I feel it was more impactful.  We still had fun. We were still connected.

Work at home or your home location, but stay CONNECTED.

THIS IS GOOD CHANGE.  I AM GLAD WE WERE FORCED TO QUICKLY LEARN IT.

*****

This week we really don’t know who helped out the most… in an essential and productive way.  Who helped out to do the most bids?  Who did the most orders?  Who knows?  No one… and that is wrong.   We should all know those things to empower the strong and train the ones that are slower.

We track OTIF and the operations teams down to the minute. Works exceedingly well!  (I made two loads this week, the process was awesome.)  This is amazing.  We need to bring things like this to all the departments!

 

How long you are punched in will no longer be rewarded.  That is NOT A BADGE OF HONOR ANYMORE.  It always has been that way in our industry.  It might always be that way.  NOT FOR DREXEL.  Just because you work long hours, does not mean you are productive.  We care ABOUT WHAT YOU GET DONE, ACCURATELY AND QUICKLY.   THAT WILL BE REWARDED!

Estimators, designers, sales team, we help them by walking around, giving them incentives  – WHICH DOESN’T WORK– or worse yet by gut feel and relationship alignment.    Good people don’t need carrots, they need empowerment, happiness, training.  They need to be listened to and sometimes coached.  They need to see what they are doing right— and wrong.


*****

Team, we will be coming out of this a DIFFERENT COMPANY.  Working less (yes then more hourly pay) but DOING MORE.   That’s everyone.  Me included.  My kids are 16, 14, 10.  I already missed a large window.  Time to buckle down and spend some time with them.

FOR THOSE THAT HAVE A “BAD GUT”, OR TEND TO WORRY, OR BECOME OVERLY CONCERNED, OR ARE SKEPTICAL… I DID NOT SAY LESS PAY.  I STATED FEWER HOURS.  YES, THIS ISN’T DONE YET.  WE ARE WORKING ON IT.  RIGHT.  NOW.

This isn’t just about me though.  Not even close.

Going to 40 hour work weeks will give you 250 more hours a year… to change the world, to impact your life, travel, nap, hunt, garden, fish, etc,  hours at home & out in the world making an impact.

That is multiplied by 450 people.

112,500 hours.  Annually.  To supply happiness.

Over a million hours in a decade.

So even if I fall over dead tomorrow from Corona, or worse yet a loved one, we will have saved 1 million hours to impact the world– and not figuring out how to get a bid back on time.

For that, I am forever grateful.

I also believe this will make our company much, much more profitable.   As we track productivity, we will get much better at doing everything we do, making our customers and team happier!

“IF YOU CAN’T MEASURE IT, YOU CAN’T CHANGE IT.”  – PETER DRUCKER

*****

What we fear about our new world… and how we will attack that?

As we get further away by working at home and measuring the snot out of everything, I have always worried that we will get… disconnected.

We will not be a family or team.  How foolish I was.  Of course, we will still together.  Just like families do.  Maybe more often.

But my sister is still my sister even though I don’t share a cubicle with her.  We are connected.

We will be adding our 11th core value:

#CONNECTION

That way we can always remember this time in our lives when we added, but more importantly, hold our culture dear by the connections we must make.  It’s not the physical presence we need in 2020.  It’s the connection.  I can be connected, by a video, a call or a chat.  We will use a connection to stay ENGAGED in our team and Drexel.  Engagement is the number one way to protect Drexel.  I can be aloof at my desk next to you,  I can be CONNECTED anywhere!

 

*****

Our contractors will be happier.  We will have a team ready for them.  Ready to help.  Not stressed and busy.  That’s what they have always wanted a team DEDICATED TO THEM.    We can do this. We already work share, cross-train, and much more.  We will just do that better.  So any builder or their client can be helped by an army of connected people.   Sounds pretty cool and fun.

Of course every teammate, every person will have to re-wire their brain and think differently.  Based on a conversation with the special forces team on this topic this is Bradey Frank’s reply.

Hey Joel!
You wanted just a quick recap of what we chatted about when you stopped up by us. 
  • Value People’s Time! — Start utilizing technology to cut down on unnecessary travel time. Google Hangouts has video and phone call capabilities. QB’s to use best judgment on when face to face is a must.
  • Special Teams will aim to test first video huddle next time we meet. This will cut down on unnecessary travel as mentioned above, but still make it personable and allow us to hold others accountable.   
  • Loom — Possible estimating usage with this. Could be utilized for training and estimate reviews/issues. To be researched. 
  • Estimating Efficiency (per estimator) — Tracking of this TBD. Many factors to take into account. 

Thanks!

Bradey Frank

*****

WE WILL NO LONGER EMBRACE WORKING LONG HOURS, WE WILL EMBRACE PRODUCTIVITY.

For me, I will honestly say it would be 2pm, I would find a way to stay busy, make a few more non-essential phone calls.  Check some more emails.  Run through Facebook.  Just to say I “grinded” until 5pm.  No more.  Honey, I’m coming home.  My work is done.  And, gulp, I will no longer feel ashamed.

I will have faith my productivity will be valued.  Because it will be measured.  Isn’t that all anyone wants?  To feel valued?  T

Thank you COVID-19.  My world and our teams have changed forever.

#CONNECTION

MUCH MUCH MORE TO COME.  LOVE YOU ALL.

GO!

JOEL

 

 

 

 

 

One thought on “WHY I AM GLAD COVID-19 HAPPENED FOR ME (AND OUR COMPANY)

  1. Thanks for sharing your . Hope & pray you get well soon . In my side of California, everyone is suppose stay home except the ones whose services are needed like healthcare . No longer scared as it is my new normal at work . I did learn a lot from it though like value more precious time for yourself, your family & friends because at we all live on borrowed time .

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